UCSB Travels To UC Riverside This Weekend For Three

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May 12, 2005

SANTA BARBARA, Calif - The Schedule
Games No. 48, 49, 50• UC Riverside
Friday, May 13, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. (PST)
Saturday, May 14, 2005 at 6:00 p.m. (PST)
Sunday, May 15, 2005 at 1:00 p.m. (PST)
• All games at Riverside Sports Complex
• Riverside, CA

The Gauchos On KIST
All three of this weekend games at UC Riverside will be broadcast live on KIST 1340 AM in Santa Barbara. In addition, all games carried on KIST will be linked to the Gauchos' Official Website at www.UCSBgauchos.com. They will be part of the College Sports Network's College Sports Pass.

On Deck For This Weekend
This weekend, the UC Santa Barbara baseball team travels to UC Riverside for a three-game set beginning Friday, May 13 at Riverside Sports Complex. The Highlanders host Santa Barbara boasting a 21-23 overall record and a 6-6 conference record. The Gauchos are 21-26 and 3-9 in conference. UCSB is in the midst of finishing-up its season by playing 18-straight Big West games.

2005 Record
UCSB enters its match-up with UC Riverside holding a 21-26 record. Last weekend, the Gauchos took the series over 10th-ranked Long Beach State. Before that Santa Barbara was swept in consecutive weekends by Cal State Fullerton and Cal Poly. The Gauchos dropped their first conference series of they year to Pacific way back on the weekend of April 1.

A Look at Last Weekend
The UC Santa Barbara baseball took two out of three games at home against No. 10 Long Beach State last weekend. The Gauchos put together an 8-6 win in Friday's series opener and made it two in a row over the 49ers with a 7-6 win on Saturday. The Beach scrapped together a 4-3 victory over the Gauchos in Sunday's series finale. On Friday, May 6 Santa Barbara scored six runs in the bottom of third inning and held on for the win. Junior starting pitcher Steve Morlock battled as he tossed 5.2 innings and allowed seven hits and four earned runs en route to his fifth victory of the season. Senior closer Alex McRobbie picked up his 10th save, tying the school record for saves in a season. The Gauchos were uplifted in the seventh inning as senior Chris Malec entered the game as a defensive replacement. It was his first action since undergoing testicular cancer surgery on April 14. On Saturday the Gauchos were lifted to their second-straight victory over Long Beach State as Malec, making his first start, blasted a grand slam in his first at-bat. Senior starting pitcher Michael Martin earned his fifth victory as he hurled 6.0 innings allowing nine hits and three runs (all earned) while striking out four. McRobbie shut the door on a late inning LBSU rally and tallied the save (11), setting a new single season-save record as well as setting a new career saves record with 14. In the finale on Sunday, sophomore starting pitcher Andy Graham pitched well as he held the 49ers to seven hits and three runs (all earned) in 6.0 innings. Senior catcher Matt Kalafatis went 2-for-4 with one run scored in the Gauchos' 4-3 loss.

The Brontsema File
2005 marks the 24th year of head coach Bob Brontsema's involvement in the UCSB baseball program. He is now in his 12th season as head coach, after ten years as an assistant and two as a player. With a 6-1 victory over San Jose State on Sunday Feb. 13, Brontsema became the third coach in school history to collect career victory No.300. The Gaucho skipper currently owns a record of 317-316. He has been selected Big West Coach of the Year twice, in 1996 when he guided the Gauchos to a 32-20 record and an at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament, and in 2001, when he led the team to a 40-17 mark and another NCAA tourney berth. The .701 winning percentage in 2001 was the best in school history. In 2004, Brontsema's Gauchos posted the second-most overall wins in his career as head coach, going 33-21. Milestone dates in Brontsema's coaching career include win no. 100 in 1997, win no. 200 in 2001, and win no. 300 in 2005.

Probable Gaucho Starters
C - Matt Kalafatis - Hit .400 in the series vs. LBSU.
1B - Bill Rowe - Tallied two RBI in Friday's 8-6 victory.
2B - Alden Carrithers - Second on team with a .411 OB%.
SS - Chris Malec - Hit a grand slam in his first start back.
3B - Matt Aidem - Tie for team high with .333 batting avg.
LF - C.J. Cook - 1-for-3 with two runs scored on Sunday.
CF - Matt Emerick - 5-for-6 in stolen bases this season.
RF - Matt Wilkerson - Team leading 11, 43 RBI and 96 TB.
DH - David Figoni - Hit a HR in Saturday's 7-6 win over LSBU.

UCSB Flame Throwers
After taking the series over 10th-ranked Long Beach State, pitching coach Tom Myers has decided not to make any changes in this weekend's rotation. In Friday's series opener, junior right-hander Steve Morlock (5-7, 6.28 ERA) will get the start against UC Riverside. On Saturday, junior Michael Martin (5-5, 4.64 ERA), boasting a team-high 87.1 innings pitched, will be looking to pick-up his sixth victory of the season. In Sunday's series finale, sophomore Andy Graham (4-5, 5.53 ERA) is penciled-in to make his 12th start of the campaign.

The Come Back Kid
Senior shortstop Chris Malec returned to the diamond last weekend for the first time since undergoing cancer surgery on April 14. In Friday's series opener, Malec entered the game as a defensive replacement in the top of the seventh inning. In game two, the Laguna Niguel, Calif., native made his first come back start and blasted a grand slam in his first at-bat. Fittingly, it was the first Gaucho grand slam of the season and the last since Malec blasted one off Jared Weaver en route to a Santa Barbara sweep. In Sunday's series finale, Malec tallied a double and a walk. Although he has missed 10 games, Malec is still third in runs scored (31), third in hits (41), first in doubles (10) and tied for second in doubles (5). In Big West Conference play, Malec is now batting .500 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI.

Matts' Big West Conference?
So far in 12 Big West Conference games, Seniors Matt Wilkerson and Matt Kalafatis have red-hot bats. Wilkerson, UCSB's current home run (11) and RBI leader (43), is batting .362 with four home runs and nine RBI. Kalafatis is just as blazing as he is hitting .361 with five doubles and 11 runs scored. Last weekend, the San Ramon, Calif., native went 4-for-10 (.400) with two doubles, one home run and two RBI against the nation's best pitching staff.

Wilkerson Watch 2005
With two home runs this weekend against Long Beach State, senior right fielder Matt Wilkerson remains in the second spot on UCSB's career home run list with 40. Wilkerson is now only the second Gaucho to hit 40 home runs and is currently one homer shy of catching current home run king Dave Willis (19-94-97). With four RBI this weekend, Wilkerson jumped up into the No. 5 slot on the all-time UCSB career RBI list with 178. He is seven RBI shy of catching Rich Haar (1984-87) for the fourth position. The Santa Margarita, Calif., native is 26 RBI short of becoming UCSB's RBI king.

A Record Setting Weekend
Senior closer Alex McRobbie wasted no time leaving his mark on UCSB. This weekend the San Anselmo, Calif., native set new records in single-season saves (11) and career saves (14). McRobbie's 11 saves this season is good enough to for a tie for sixth nationally. Overall this year, McRobbie is 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA. He has tallied 11 saves and 33 strikeouts in 30.2 innings hurled.

Highlander Hullabaloo
Entering Friday's match-up, UC Riverside holds a 21-23 record (6-6 conference), having just been swept by UC Davis last weekend. Catcher Nick Salotti is leading the Highlanders with a .361 batting average, 65 hits, 14 doubles and 104 total bases. Left fielder Matt Cunningham is batting .265 and has a team-leading eight home runs and 33 RBI. Friday's starting pitcher Haley Winter is 6-6 with a 2.33 ERA in 13 starts this season. He leads the team with 89.0 innings pitched this season. Scheduled to take the hill on Saturday is right-hander Taylor Bills. In 13 starts this year, Bills is 5-7 with a 4.55 ERA. In Sunday's series finale, left-hander Jose Shaw Jr. (2-4, 5.91 ERA) is penciled-in to get the nod for the Highlanders.

Series Record
Since entering the Division I level in 2002, UC Riverside is 9-0 verses UCSB. Last season, the Highlanders swept the Gauchos at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.